Tag Archives: delong

If this system can’t support a living wage…

There has been some comment recently about what is called “inequality”.

Notably here, here, here and here.

But it was this article from Yahoo Finance, about fair pay, that caught my attention.  Now I could go on and on about the leverage capital has on of wages of the working class, especially in a depression, or the 3 to 1 ratio of applicants to job openings, but that wouldn’t  be my gut reaction.

People who work hard should get a living wage.  If even our hybrid capitalist system can’t offer this basic necessity to a huge amount of the people, then we should do some long and hard thinking.

I don’t think conservatives realize that the policies they are pushing, the one’s that cater to the 1%, don’t exactly line up with the ability to hold power in a representational democracy.  As Paul Krugman recently pointed out, people are realizing the extent of the skewed distribution of income.  This can’t be good for national polling for republicans.  I mean losing 4 of the last 5 popular votes should be some kind of sign.


Clear up the Debt Overhang in Housing

Brad Delong has a great post:

More Jobs and Higher Middle Class Incomes as Economic Policy Job #1: Housing Policy Edition

Years late and terabucks short blogging…

Four years ago, Obama pivoted to the Axelrod-Geithner line that the decline had stopped, economic recovery was on the way and could handle itself, and that economic policy job #1 was stabilizing the long-term finances of the federal government.

Now, after four largely wasted years spent mostly talking about the deficit, he may be pivoting back:

“I want to make sure that all of us in Washington are investing as much time, as much energy, as much debate on how we grow the economy and grow the middle class as we’ve spent over the last two to three years arguing about how we reduce the deficits”, Mr. Obama said. He called for a shift “away from what I think has been a damaging framework in Washington.”

This is most welcome. Let us hope that it is indeed permanent.

Now the first step is to strike a deal to get the Republicans in the Senate to confirm Mel Watt as head of FHFA, and then for FHFA and the GSEs to offer a conforming loan-rate refi (with equity kickers attached for those underwater) to every mortgage holder in America. That policy to clean out the credit-channel mess created by the housing finance disaster and housing bubble crash of 2004-2008 would have been good policy in 2009. It would have been good policy in 2010. It would have been good policy in 2011. It would have been good policy in 2012. And it would be good policy today.